Sandra Newbill

[ Age 54 ] Former assistant school principal also taught special education and worked with truant children.

October 19, 2006|By Jacques Kelly | Jacques Kelly,SUN REPORTER

Sandra Newbill, a retired special-education teacher and former assistant school principal in Baltimore, died of pancreatic cancer Friday at Sinai Hospital. The Northwood resident was 54.

Born Sandra Denise Jackson in Baltimore and raised on East Eager Street, she was a 1970 graduate of Dunbar High School, where she was a member of the tennis, gymnastics and badminton teams. While at Dunbar, she met her future husband, Stuart Russell Newbill Sr. They married in 1976.

Mrs. Newbill earned a bachelor's degree in education from what is now Coppin State University and a master's from Loyola College. At her death, she was working on a doctorate at Morgan State University.

Known to her friends and colleagues as Sandy, she taught special education at Greenspring Middle School, now the Roland C. Patterson School, and became an assistant principal at what was then the Joseph C. Briscoe High School on Druid Hill Avenue, where she taught and was manager of a program that assessed children's special-education needs.

"She worked tirelessly for the underdog," said Patricia Lowe-Gould, a longtime friend who is principal at what is now Central Career Center at Briscoe. "She was passionate about teaching the students that nobody else wanted to deal with."

Ms. Lowe-Gould recalled her colleague's sense of humor, hard-working habits and faithfulness as a friend.

For several years, Mrs. Newbill worked at the school administration's North Avenue headquarters as an area special-education coordinator and later was an administrator of the Baltimore Truancy Assessment Center. She worked with children who were not coming to school and counseled their parents on how to deal with the problem.

"She was a firm but patient teacher," said her husband, the retired athletics director at Lake Clifton High School. "She loved working with her students."

Mrs. Newbill was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer March 22. She was then teaching math and special education at Kenwood High School in Rosedale, whose faculty she joined last year.

In her free time, Mrs. Newbill enjoyed sports. She played tennis on the courts at Mergenthaler Vocational-Technical High School and Clifton Park. As a younger woman, she competed in a softball league.

She was the youngest of six sisters and often met with her siblings to enjoy a meal or cup of tea.

"Several times a year, we got together at each other's houses and talked," said sister Barbara Cooper of Baltimore.

Services will be held at 11:30 today at Loch Hill Ekklesia Christian Church, 6601 Loch Raven Blvd., where she had been a Sunday school teacher, youth leader and finance committee member.

In addition to her husband and sister, survivors include a son, Stuart Russell Newbill Jr. of Lindenwold, N.J.; a daughter, Natia Kareen Newbill of Baltimore; her other sisters, Linda Huff of Harlequin, Texas, and Cookie Bell, Stephanie Green and Alma Bennett, all of Baltimore; and two grandchildren.

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